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TEACHING DISCIPLES ON THE THREE PRECEPTS
by Gaofeng Yuanmiao (1238 - 1295, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Hsi and Cherry Lai

If our speech is of no benefit to others,
then we should not speak.

If our thought does not benefit others,
then we should not think.

If the steps we take have no benefit to others,
then we should not proceed.

── from Gaofeng Yuanmiao Chanshi Yulu (Records of Chan Master Gaofeng Yuanmiao)


POEM OF HANSHAN
by Chushi Fanqi (1296 - 1370, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: You Zai

Speech is the principal cause of
our rise and fall,
Mind is the fundamental root of
fortunes and calamities.
Everything is caused by oneself,
who is to hold heaven and earth responsible?
Cultivating merits is like planting trees,
cultivating virtues is like planting grains;
Since what we have accumulated is already plenty,
nothing we need will be insufficient.

── from Lianxiu Bidu (Essential Readings for Pure Land Practitioners)


POEM ON LEARNING THE WAY
by Xingkong Miaopu (Approx. 1066 - 1142, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

Learn the Way as if guarding city walls;
Prevent the six thieves* during the day
and remain alert when night falls.
The general is capable of issuing orders:
Weapons are not to be raised to ensure peace.

── from Daming Gaoseng Zhuan (Biographies of Eminent Monks of the Ming Dynasty)

* “Six thieves” refer to the field of form, field of sound, field of odor, gustatory field, tactile field, and conceptual field.